Residents fail to stop a Norwich shop from being allowed to sell alcohol 24 hours a day

Neighbours have failed in their bid to stop a petrol station shop from selling alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Norwich City Council yesterday approved an application allowing Costcutter Express at St Benedicts Filling Station, in Dereham Road, to extend the hours it can sell alcoholic drinks.

Residents warned there were street drinking, anti-social behaviour and disorder problems, which could be made worse by the change.

They also suggested people already queued outside the shop before 5.30am to buy alcohol to drink on the street.

Applicant Murco Petroleum Limited refuted this claim and also cited there had been no objections or comments raised by Norfolk police.

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The company also offered to ensure CCTV monitors an area of the petrol station site where early morning street-drinkers are said, by residents, to gather.

The council's licensing sub-committee yesterday heard the Costcutter shop already opens all-day, every-day, with the sale of alcohol allowed between 5.30am and midnight.

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Chris Mitchener, of Licensing Solutions and representing the applicant, said shop staff were regularly trained and tested.

He added a Challenge 25 policy - asking all those customers who look under the age of 25 - will soon replace the shop's existing Challenge 21 guidelines.

Mr Mitchener said: 'There's a demand for alcohol. There's already two other sites that straddle this site, which sell alcohol for 24 hours.'

Dereham Road resident Caroline Richardson objected, telling the committee she believed it would be 'dangerous' to extend the licence in an area which already has problems.

She said: 'I do think we have a problem in that area, which will be exacerbated and worsened by the availability of alcohol in the night.'

The council yesterday ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the objections.

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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